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Djokovic vs Khachanov ATP Paris live streaming, preview and tips - Djokovic targets 33rd Masters 1000 title against rising Khachanov

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 3 Nov 2018
  • Novak Djokovic vs Karen Khachanov is live from Paris at 3.00pm local time on Sunday (2.00pm GMT)
  • Djokovic won their only previous clash in straight sets at Wimbledon earlier this season
Novak Djokovic (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic goes in search of his 33rd ATP Masters 1000 title on Sunday when he takes on rising star Karen Khachanov for the Rolex Paris Masters crown.

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Novak Djokovic has already wrestled the No. 1 ranking away from Rafael Nadal this week - can he now equal the Spaniard’s record of 33 Masters 1000 titles when he comes up against first-time Masters Series finalist Karen Khachanov on Sunday in Paris?

The undisputed form player on the ATP World Tour as the 2018 season draws to a close, Djokovic has continued his blistering run of form at the Rolex Paris Masters, beginning his campaign by taking out Joao Sousa and Damir Dzumhur before registering hard-fought three-set victories over Marin Cilic and Roger Federer. Djokovic was forced to come from a set down to conquer Cilic, but his triumph over Federer in Saturday’s semi-finals was one of the best matches of the season, with the Serbian saving a set point in the opening set tiebreak before edging the match in a deciding set breaker, 7-6(6) 5-7 7-6(3). Withstanding 54 winners from Federer, who was chasing his 100th career title this week, it was also the first time Djokovic had failed to convert a single break point while hitting double digit chances, going 0-12 throughout the contest. However, the World No. 1 in-waiting was too strong in the crucial moments, digging out the third set tiebreak to extend his winning streak to 22 straight matches.

"We had epic matches throughout our rivalry but this one definitely ranks as one of the best matches we played," said Djokovic. "High quality tennis. Next to the match I played against Nadal in the semis of Wimbledon, this was definitely the most exciting match I was playing this year, and probably the best quality tennis match that I was part of.
"It was also expected, because when I get to play Roger, I know I have to get the best out of myself in order to win. And that's why our rivalries and matches are so special."

Djokovic has now won 31 of his last 32 matches during his extraordinary resurgence, picking up two more Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and two more Masters 1000 crowns in Cincinnati and Shanghai, completing his Masters Series set at the former with a win over Federer in the final. The only man to have beaten Djokovic since the Queen’s Club final in June was Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Canada Masters in August.

The 31-year-old has now won his last 10 matches against top 10 players as he targets a fifth Rolex Paris Masters title on Sunday. Djokovic first prevailed in Paris in 2009 before claiming the title in three straight years between 2013-15. Once again the overwhelming favourite to win every match he contests, can Djokovic capture his fifth title of 2018 and further establish himself as the most dominant force in men’s tennis when he squares off against a first-time Masters 1000 finalist for the Paris title?

Karen Khachanov (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)
At the start of this week, Karen Khachanov had only won three out of 19 matches against top 10 players, but the young Russian powerhouse has doubled his tally in the space of the last few days, conquering the likes of No. 9 John Isner, No. 5 Alexander Zverev and No. 8 Dominic Thiem on his way to his maiden Masters 1000 final. Khachanov has been quietly rising all season and has saved his best tennis for last, crushing sixth seed Thiem 6-4 6-1 in an extremely impressive semi-final triumph on Saturday.

"What I’m happy about is that each match I think I was increasing the level. That shows that I’m improving in my consistency, I’m becoming a better player, playing from the beginning of the tournament better and better, so that’s a good thing," Khachanov said. "In this match I think it was really intense the first couple of games and then at 4-4 when it more pressure was coming, I could break him, and then I took the lead."

Khachanov had only won two matches at Masters 1000 level before this season, but now the 22-year-old has emerged victorious 15 times at this level, including a run to the Canada Masters semi-finals in Toronto earlier this year. Touted as a future top 10 player and Grand Slam champion for the last few years now, Khachanov had been hovering around the 30-70 mark in the rankings since capturing his first ATP World Tour title in Chengdu in 2016, but the Russian is set to rise to a career-high ranking of No. 12 regardless of Sunday’s result, with the big-hitting youngster securing two more ATP World Tour titles in Marseille and Moscow and reaching the fourth rounds of Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

Djokovic won their only previous encounter at Wimbledon, easing to a 6-4 6-2 6-2 victory. To reverse that result, Khachanov will need to be at his aggressive best and basically redline for the entire match. Djokovic’s sublime defence means Khachanov will need to prepared for that extra ball to come back, so it’s imperative he is patient in baseline exchanges and doesn’t get frustrated. But that is easier said than done, especially in your first Masters 1000 final, so at the end of the day, if Djokovic plays like he has been for the last few months, the Serbian should be collecting a record-equalling 33rd Masters 1000 title.

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Djokovic vs Khachanov ATP Paris live streaming, preview and tips - Djokovic targets 33rd Masters 1000 title against rising Khachanov

Novak Djokovic goes in search of his 33rd ATP Masters 1000 title on Sunday when he takes on rising star Karen Khachanov for the Rolex Paris Masters crown.

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